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Dodgers clinch NL West for seventh consecutive season

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The Dodgers clinched the NL West for the seventh consecutive season, defeating the Orioles 7-3 on Tuesday night in Baltimore. Walker Buehler improved to 13-3, pitching seven scoreless innings on four hits with no walks and 11 strikeouts. He now owns a 3.14 ERA. Corey Seager homered twice and Gavin Lux hit his first major league homer.

Per STATS, this is the second-earliest a team has clinched the NL West. The 1975 Reds did it faster, clinching on September 7. They went on to win a championship.

The Dodgers will return to the postseason for a seventh consecutive year, which is the third-longest in baseball history, per Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times. The Braves made it 14 straight seasons between 1991-2005 and the Yankees had 13 consecutive postseason appearances between 1995-2007. No other team has made it longer than five years in a row.

Red Sox employees “livid” over team pay cut plan

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Even Drellich of The Athletic reports that the Boston Red Sox are cutting the pay of team employees. Those cuts, which began to be communicated last night, apply to all employees making $50,000 or more. They are tiered cuts, with people making $50-99,000 seeing salary cut by 20%, those making $100k-$499,000 seeing $25% cuts and those making $500,000 or more getting 30% cuts.

Drellich reported that a Red Sox employee told him that “people are livid” over the fact that those making $100K are being treated the same way as those making $500K. And, yes, that does seem to be a pretty wide spread for similar pay cuts. One would think that a team with as many analytically-oriented people on staff could perhaps break things down a bit more granularly.

Notable in all of this that the same folks who own the Red Sox — Fenway Sports Group — own Liverpool FC of the English Premier League, and that just last month Liverpool’s pay cut/employee furlough policies proved so unpopular that they led to a backlash and a subsequent reversal by the club. That came after intense criticism from Liverpool fan groups and local politicians. Sox owner John Henry must be confident that no such backlash will happen in Boston.

As we noted yesterday, The Kansas City Royals, who are not as financially successful as the Boston Red Sox, have not furloughed employees or cut pay as a result of baseball’s shutdown in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Perhaps someone in Boston could call the Royals and ask them how they managed that.